Black Jack Gum: America's First Flavored Bubblegum

If you're looking for a retro candy treat to introduce to your kids, Black Jack gum might just do the trick. Never heard of it? That might be because it's a vintage chewing gum that's gone in and out of style over the years. This gum was apparently the first flavored gum in America and was originally called Adams' Black Jack after Thomas Adams of Staten Island, New York. He patented a gum-making machine and added flavorings to the treats after original chewing gums made with chicle initially had no flavor. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What's in Black Jack Chewing Gum?

When Adams first played around with flavoring for his first chewing gum trials, he added sarsaparilla. By 1884, he began adding licorice flavoring. Not only was Adams' Black Jack the first flavored gum in the United States, but it was also the first to be sold in stick form.

Today, if someone has this gum on their holiday or birthday wish list, it might taste a little bit different if they get a hold of it. It still has its black licorice flavor, but it also has notes of anise and ginger.

Who Sells Black Jack Gum?

Previously, the gum was sold by the American Chicle Company, which was bought by Warner-Lambert in 1962. The company was renamed Adams in 1997, but when Pfizer, bought Warner-Lambert in 2000, it went on to sell Adams and the rest of its candy brands to Cadbury in 2003.

Today, the retro gum is manufactured by the Gerrit J. Verburg Co., which bought the brand from Mondelez International. The company also purchased two other classic gum brands, Clove and Beemans.

You can find Black Jack gum or its vintage chewing gum brethren online or at specialty candy stores in stick packs. Are you willing to try it?

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